Dental hygienists and dentists both work in a dental office and can be seen cleaning teeth, using dental tools, taking x-rays, and more. But when it comes to names and duties, what does each do? Are there differences between the two? Which has more educational experience, or knowledge about teeth? Here are some answers to the above questions and information to help you learn more about the individuals poking around your teeth.
What Is The Difference?
The simplest way to tell the difference is that the dentist is usually the one listed in the practice and does more delicate work such as installing implants and filling your cavity. The largest difference is that the dentist is a doctor and has completed more coursework and has the acronym of D.D.S (doctor of dental surgery). Hygienists also have schooling but do not have their doctorates and have the title of R.D.H (registered dental hygienist).
Dentists own their own practice and are basically their own bosses. Dental hygienists don’t own practices, but they can in certain states. Hygienists do more than dental assistants and work to help the dentist, while the assistant helps the hygienists and the dentist. Hygienists can also work in more than one practice or in military clinics, underprivileged populations, and professional schools to train students.
Dentists who are just starting out can find full-time or part-time work with another practice, or take a different path and pursue a non-clinical path. Corporate dentistry can take a while to build a reputation, so some dental graduates choose to shadow or take consultant positions first.
What Tasks Do They Perform?
Dental hygienists will often perform the dental cleaning of your teeth and look for issues with gum health or tooth decay that will need to be addressed by the dentist. Dentists perform the task of filling cavities, pulling teeth, treating gum disease, and can write medical prescriptions.
Dental hygienists can work outside of a dental office and independently in a clinic. This can be more affordable than going to a traditional dentist for just a routine cleaning. They also give you advice on how to improve your oral health and what products can improve tooth sensitivity or prevent cavities.
Who Has Knowledge About Teeth?
Both dental hygienists and dentists attend college and learn about the anatomy of the mouth and jaw. Each job knows how to check teeth for sensitivity, and cavities, and help prevent tooth decay.
The dentist will know more about how to improve teeth and apply metal or fillings to help keep teeth stable in your mouth. Knowledge about teeth is required for both jobs, but dentists need to know about the fragility of teeth, the life span, and much much more.
Why Do We Need Both?
In the dental world, there are many conditions and procedures that need to be performed. You can also not substitute one for the other. Your oral hygiene is important, so the more knowledge that professionals have, the better. Dental hygienists are often more affordable but a dentist is needed to solve tooth decay and jaw decay.
Dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dentists are all partners in the oral hygiene practice. Keeping the patient’s mouth healthy is a group effort.
Meet Our Dentist and Dental Hygienists
We at Jenson Family Dentistry are passionate about helping our customers achieve the best possible smile and feel comfortable and confident in our office. We have found the best way to help individuals feel relaxed in the dental chair is to make connections with them and create genuine relationships. We love our team and we love our clients. We can wait to meet you and help you improve your oral health. Reach out to learn more about us or to set up a dental appointment.